Gary Miller rides in Breakaway Mile at Amgen TourFebruary 27, 2009
Web posted by PAF
Joe Miletich, senior vice president, research and development at AMGEN; Gary Miller, PAF patient and Breakaway Mile rider; and Frank Schleck, LUX, Team Saxo Bank and Stage 8 winner of the Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider jersey.In 2006, 54-year-old Gary Miller, a self-employed house painter from San Diego, CA, underwent a prostate screening test that showed elevated levels. He underwent a series of tests and biopsies over the next two years, and in January 2008, he was officially diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent surgery, followed by robotic surgery. This battle was especially difficult at the time because their health insurance lapsed.
When Gary was initially diagnosed, Karen’s contract with the Navigator program was changing hands and she ended up with COBRA. Her first thought was to call PAF. Karen says she had an immediate sense of relief and that she and Gary received wonderful advice and support navigating this difficult path from the expert case managers at Patient Advocate Foundation. Karen says PAF helped them learn more about insurance requirements, time limits and disability issues. She also felt like PAF really cared about Gary’s well-being.
After surgery in April, Gary quickly recovered and resumed his normal life. Then, in October, Gary was diagnosed with melanoma. In November, he had a spot removed from his calf. To date, he is living cancer free.
On February 22nd, Gary rode in the Escondido,CA Breakaway Mile for Patient Advocate Foundation to celebrate his successful battles with cancer. Gary is particularly grateful for those who have helped him along the way, especially his wife Karen, his support group mentor Dale, and the Patient Advocate Foundation.
This one-mile ride celebrates and honors local cancer survivors, and supports Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer initiative, which is designed to increase awareness of the important resources available to cancer patients from prevention and diagnoses through treatment and survivorship. Family members and great friends rode with Gary in the Breakaway Mile along with Amgen Scientist Joe Miletich.